Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flex Time

After the quake, of course all of our jobs changed overnight. Now that we're settling into some routines, I'm back to teaching- five different courses for five different grade levels. That's quite a challenge for a first-year teacher. But now I'm also checking the school's email and doing photography and writing for the school's website- jobs I love doing. Well this week I've got a new job- we're creating a second Quisqueya website, but this one will focus exclusively on relief work. I'll let you know when it's launched in a day or so- I've started writing entries but we're still discussing a few last website design issues (to Twitter or not to Twitter? Oh, the burning issues of corporate life). Lots to do! But so great to feel useful.
On Sunday we got a big treat- we got to watch the Super Bowl! Ben poured a lot of sweat into this project- duct-taping our white sheets to a tarp, which was attached to two giant soccer goals turned on their ends. Our friend Sean set up a big projector and speaker system, using the Army's satellite. All of us- teachers, Haitians, aid workers, doctors, Army guys- watched together, and it was very fun. Who dat!


 
 What up, Red Cross of Aruba! This Dutch and Spanish speaking team from the island of Aruba arrived yesterday to stay at Quisqueya and work in local hospitals. I love meeting all the foreign doctors.
This thing is so cool. As I've mentioned, after the quake we moved into a new, on-campus apartment. Well, one of the three other bedrooms belongs to the Kirby and Danielle, a fantastic Haitian married couple. Danielle works in the front office of the school, and Kirby works for USAID. One of his youth projects is making these cool lantern/flashlight contraptions. It's made out of a used water bottle, and it's practically unbreakable. It can be a flashlight or a lantern, and it's made with sustainable principles in mind.
 
 Quincy update! This is our little 5-year-old boy who suffered the fractured femur in the quake and has been in a home-made traction system for three weeks. I saw him today, rocking away in this little chair and out of traction. His eyes look much less black and bloodshot, and he was playing with some toys.
Today some of our doctors stayed at the campus to see the Haitians who are living here. Here's one of the docs explaining to a father how to give this liquid medicine to his daughter, who is peeking over to be in the photo. Of course, all of the donated medicine labels are in English, so there are issues of communication...
This doc checked out mama's ears alongside baby's ears.

Every night we have a meeting with the leaders of all the medical teams. We put all the transportation needs and schedules on this giant whiteboard, listing where each team is going to serve and what time they need to be dropped off/picked up.

I mean really? Have any kids ever been cuter? These three little ones are students in Mrs. Ackerman's PreK-2nd grade class. Today during that class' recess I saw all the boys playing on the jungle gym while the girls sat on the sidewalk and chatted- such little women:)
 
 This is Ben's best friend from the lollypop incident a week or so ago. We've discovered her name is Sarah, and she and Ben love to play. Her family is here because someone in the family works for Quisqueya, and their home was destroyed in the quake.
So fly.
Sarah and Ben- best friends for life.
This is Emma. I've described her family before- her older sister is wearing a man's wedding ring around her neck now (read the story... I love these three strong, beautiful sisters so much). Today she drew a self-portrait, and tomorrow her elementary class is having a Valentine's party.

 
Kindergarten. This picture is classic for two reasons:
1) The adorable little girl in pink is totally dominating the other little girl's game.
2) The little boy in the darker shirt is totally picking his nose:)

Pink city. One team of doctors is from the University of Maryland, and they are also associated with Catholic Relief Services. They all wear pink scrubs, and today was their laundry day. I don't think Ben has mentioned yet on the blog that he is coordinating laundry services for the entire campus, including all the visiting medical teams. All of it. Laundry Czar was not exactly a title Ben was seeking, but he gets up every morning at 6 to fetch dirty clothes from whoever is on the laundry calendar for that day and brings their hampers to the Haitian ladies who are washing clothes. Each evening he delivers the washed, dried, and folded clothes back to the teams. He is such a servant, and I am so proud of him.
 
Some of our high school students smashing water bottles. It's a long story- first they were collected to be used for distributing cooking oil, then they were collected for recycling....now we need to de-volumize our bottles. The kids were asked to step on them, but they discovered if you step on the bottles while the cap is on just right, the cap will shoot off at somebody. Hysterical. They were laughing so hard- it was so great to see that.
Another little "flex moment" came this morning. After having carefully planned my last two weeks' lesson plans around a big test I had scheduled for this Friday, an announcement came out: the Haitian government has declared this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as National Days of Prayer due to this Friday being the one-month anniversary of the quake. Schools are to be closed. Next week, mind you, is Carnival Break (Haitian version of Spring Break), even though official Carnival celebrations have been cancelled. So. Test is pushed back, review guides pushed back, and I'll figure out something for tomorrow. 

Wish I could just run to Wal-Mart for supplies and throw my kids a Valentine's Day party!

 We took a photo with some of our students this afternoon during study hall time:)
We love them so much. Please, pray for our kids. 
Krystelle, Alexa, Kevin, Fabian, Anaelle, Maika, Elias, Rami, Marlee....
I found out today that I was incorrect- four of my students have lost parents, not just two as I previously thought. The hurts are unknowable, immense, deep-rooted.

I was so moved by this LA Times photo essay .
Love,
Katie

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post. Loved that Quincy is upright now. Loved the lantern/flashlight thingy. Love the pre-K girls chatting while the boys play. Loved that you got to watch the Super Bowl! (WHO DAT!!)Love that Ben is the Laundry King - with clipboard and all! And LOVE the pic of you both with the students! ... oh, and that kindergarten pic - yep, that is my life, nose-picking boys and a bossy cute little girl. :)

    It's so great to see how God is using you both... and you are doing every task with a (borrowing a phrase I read in a new book today)Christ-like "humble confidence," from a place of obedience and grace. Thank you for living out that example!

    I also just got finished scrolling through the images on your link to LA Times photo essay...WOW...that was hard but good to see. I cannot believe YOU are THERE!

    Continually praying,
    Kim

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